THE CURIOUS CASE OF JERMAINE JONES
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CLINT WADDELL - Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Jermaine Jones may have already played his last game for Schalke 04.

The American midfielder has been playing with Schalke's second team for over a month now and wasn't included in the squad that went to winter training camp in Belek, Turkey.

The most recent speculation has him going to either VfL Wolfsburg or 1899 Hoffenheim – both in the German Bundesliga. The former was apparently interested in signing the 29 year-old defensive midfielder last summer as part of a "trade" involving Zvjezdan Misimovic. The latter has been brought in connection due to Hoffenheim's lack of a defensive midfielder after sending Luis Gustavo to Bayern Munich last week. No offers or statements have been officially made or received.

Jones has been having a war of words with head coach Felix Magath for most of the 2010/11 season, with Magath saying that Jones hasn't played with intensity and, most recently, that he has even been involved in espionage. Jones, on the other hand, said early on that he doesn't feel appreciated at Schalke – especially when the team seems to be "planning without him".

Magath is set on thinning out his squad during the winter break, with up to 11 players on the cut-list. According to the German media, these include Jones, Albert Streit, Nicolas Plestan, Erik Jendrišek, Jun-Min Hao, Alexander Baumjohann, Hans Sarpei, Mario Gavranovic, Besart Ibraimi, Sergio Escudero and Ciprian Deac.

According to reports, Schalke has 12 million euros in salary that is either sitting in the stands or on the bench. Something that the debt-ridden club wants to reduce.
EdB
Saturday January 8, 2011 2:20 pm
I don't know if the stories about his attitude are correct, but if they are not then a great long-shot move might be to Arsenal who currently need competition for Song and can easily afford to carry his salary especially if he goes for a nominal fee.
Warren
Friday January 7, 2011 2:51 pm
Tuttle,

Yeah it's hard to argue against Schalke's success post-benching of Jones.

But..at least my impression is the recent better play is because rest of team is playing better. The message Magath essentially sent to rest of players was - try harder or you're next to be playing reserves.

So yeah Jones can be a pain and wasn't happy with Magath who wasn't happy with him. But my impression basically is Jones was the convenient fall guy whose salary Magath was planning to axe anyway.
Hoppy
Friday January 7, 2011 8:30 am
Amazing how a player can go from being regarded as one of the best holding mids in the Bundesliga to this in such a short time..... It seemed like he had a great thing going at Schalke.... God only knows what is going on behind the scenes and who is at fault, but when he recently took the pitch in a USMNT kit, it certainly didn't appear that effort was an issue.... Either way, he needs to get to a top-flight side playing 90 a match.... Having him ride the pine pony for a month isn't helping anyone.
Jonathan
Wednesday January 5, 2011 3:10 pm
If Schalke don't want JJ, then good riddance. I hope he gets a better gig.
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